Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 7607. Confidentiality of records




(a) Limitations on disclosure.--No person or employee, or agent of such person, who obtains confidential HIV-related information in the course of providing any health or social service or pursuant to a release of confidential HIV-related information under subsection (c) may disclose or be compelled to disclose the information, except to the following persons:

(1) The subject.

(2) The physician who ordered the test, or the physician's designee.

(3) Any person specifically designated in a written consent as provided for in subsection (c).

(4) An agent, employee or medical staff member of a health care provider, when the health care provider has received confidential HIV-related information during the course of the subject's diagnosis or treatment by the health care provider, provided that the agent, employee or medical staff member is involved in the medical care or treatment of the subject.  Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require the segregation of confidential HIV-related information from a subject's medical record.

(5) A peer review organization or committee as defined in the act of July 20, 1974 (P.L. 564, No. 193), known as the Peer Review Protection Act, [FN1] a nationally recognized accrediting agency, or as otherwise provided by law, any Federal or State government agency with oversight responsibilities over health care providers.

(6) Individual health care providers involved in the care of the subject with an HIV-related condition or a positive test, when knowledge of the condition or test result is necessary to provide emergency care or treatment appropriate to the individual;  or health care providers consulted to determine diagnosis and treatment of the individual.

(7) An insurer, to the extent necessary to reimburse health care providers or to make any payment of a claim submitted pursuant to an insured's policy.

(8) The department and persons authorized to gather, transmit or receive vital statistics under the act of June 29, 1953 (P.L. 304, No. 66), known as the Vital Statistics Law of 1953. [FN2]

(9) The department and local boards and departments of health, as authorized by the act of April 23, 1956 (1955 P.L. 1510, No. 500), known as the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955. [FN3]

(10) A person allowed access to the information by a court order issued pursuant to section 8. [FN4]

(11) A funeral director responsible for the acceptance and preparation of the deceased subject.

(12) Employees of county mental health/mental retardation agencies, county children and youth agencies, county juvenile probation departments, county or State facilities for delinquent youth, and contracted residential providers of the above-named entities receiving or contemplating residential placement of the subject, who:

(i) generally are authorized to receive medical information;  and

(ii) are responsible for ensuring that the subject receives appropriate health care;  and

(iii) have a need to know the HIV-related information in order to ensure such care is provided.

The above-named entities may release the information to a court in the course of a dispositional proceeding under 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 6351 (relating to disposition of dependent child) and 6352 (relating to disposition of delinquent child) when it is determined that such information is necessary to meet the medical needs of the subject.

(b) Subsequent disclosure prohibited.--Notwithstanding the provisions of the Vital Statistics Law of 1953 or section 15 of the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955, no person to whom confidential HIV-related information has been disclosed under this act may disclose that information to another person, except as authorized by this act.

(c) Required elements of written consent to disclosure.--A written consent to disclosure of confidential HIV-related information shall include:

(1) The specific name or general designation of the person permitted to make the disclosure.

(2) The name or title of the individual, or the name of the organization to which the disclosure is to be made.

(3) The name of the subject.

(4) The purpose of the disclosure.

(5) How much and what kind of information is to be disclosed.

(6) The signature of the subject.

(7) The date on which the consent is signed.

(8) A statement that the consent is subject to revocation at any time except to the extent that the person who is to make the disclosure has already acted in reliance on it.

(9) The date, event or condition upon which the consent will expire, if not earlier revoked.

(d) Expired, deficient or false consent.--A disclosure may not be made on the basis of a consent which:

(1) has expired;

(2) on its face substantially fails to conform to any of the requirements set forth in subsection (c);

(3) is known to have been revoked;  or

(4) is known by the person holding the information to be materially false.

(e) Notice to accompany disclosure.--Each disclosure made with the subject's written consent must be accompanied by the following written statement:

This information has been disclosed to you from records protected by Pennsylvania law.  Pennsylvania law prohibits you from making any further disclosure of this information unless further disclosure is expressly permitted by the written consent of the person to whom it pertains or is authorized by the Confidentiality of HIV-Related Information Act.  A general authorization for the release of medical or other information is not sufficient for this purpose.

(f) Duty to establish written procedures.--An institutional health care provider that has access to or maintains individually identifying confidential HIV-related information shall establish written procedures for confidentiality and disclosure of the records which are in accordance with the provisions of this act within 60 days of the effective date of this act.

[FN1]

 63 P.S. § 425.1 et seq.

[FN2]

 35 P.S. § 450.101 et seq.

[FN3]

 35 P.S. § 521.1 et seq.

[FN4]

 35 P.S. § 7608.





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